Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Honestly, there could be a body here.

Late Friday afternoon (March 17) Mike invited me to accompany him to pick up a geocache near Chief Timothy on the Snake River.

“Let’s see,” I asked myself, “should I go geocaching, or should I exercise?” So, I said I’d go with him. Bess and Nell went, too.)

It had commenced to sprinkle a bit, but I took the camera anyway. As Mike logged the cache, a train came along, adding a bit more interest to the available photo ops.

Keep looking -- you'll find it.
Friday morning I reported to Bob, the appliance repair guy, that our dishwasher was running smoothly but leaking. He ordered a new sleeve for the wash motor and came back Saturday morning to install it. The dishwasher is now running and not leaking. Mike wonders how long it will last.

I remarked to Mike that we didn’t do well with this go-round of appliance purchases. I’d wanted them for years, but in the end, we acted too quickly. Nevertheless, it used to be that when we bought something new, we could expect it to be relatively problem-free until it began to wear out. Appliance selection was a matter of styling, features, or brand preference, and manufacturers wanted to please the consumer. This is no longer true.

Down river
Actually, I began to notice this phenomenon in the ‘70s and ‘80s with my parents’ appliance purchases. In the late ‘70s, Mother replaced her GE built-in double ovens, which had been trouble-free for 15 years, with a Thermador unit. She and my dad both liked to cook, and she thought they would enjoy this “upgrade.” So, she had her cabinets remodeled to fit the new Thermador ovens. Friends were thrilled to get her old ovens for their remodeling project.

Train comes into view
But – those Thermador ovens were lemons from the beginning, and what’s worse, there was no one in our little town – or our region – who would work on them. I felt so badly for her. Sometimes I think you just have to be philosophical about these things and buy again, but Mother wasn’t about to do that – just as Mike isn’t. She limped along for the rest of her years in that house with the situation the way it was.

My parents also replaced the coal furnace with an electric one, which was a spur of the moment decision made in frustration. Naturally, it was bad news when the electricity bill arrived. In an effort to heat more efficiently and economically, they bought a heat pump to recirculate the air – or whatever heat pumps do.
Train headed down the Snake River

“The air from this vent is cold!” I remarked one winter day when I was visiting.

“No it’s not,” Mother replied as she pulled on her sweater. “It just feels cold. It’s really warmer than it feels.” Hmmmm. Now, I could be in real trouble if I argued with Mother, so I said nothing. But I felt sorry for both of my parents spending winters in that cold house. In fact, nothing could be done. Those heat pumps were lemons from the beginning and the consumer was stuck, though my dad tried valiantly to find a fix.

I used to blame my parents’ problems on their ages, but now I’m not so sure. Neither repairman said, “Well, you know, at your ages, you just can’t expect things to work right for you.” But Bob, who has been in business since 1977, said quite a bit about today’s decline in quality and service. 

As Mike says, “Why can’t anything work right?!” KW

1 comment:

Chris said...

I've been wondering. Hopefully now it will run trouble-free for many years! Yes, I have hope! :-)